Whether you are cooking for a family get-together or hosting a holiday gathering, this simple recipe for how to slow roast a turkey will create a beautifully roasted, juicy, and tender turkey that everyone will love. Although Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically when most people serve turkey, this recipe is perfect to cook any time of year.
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Choosing the Right Turkey
In order to serve a delicious entrée full of flavor, selecting the right turkey is extremely important. High-quality meat from a trusted source will result in a turkey with incredible flavor. My family prefers to order our meat from ButcherBox. All of their products taste amazing, are humanely raised, and have no antibiotics or added hormones ever.
The turkeys from ButcherBox are free-range and all-natural. As with all other ButcherBox products, these young turkeys have never been given antibiotics or added hormones. Additionally, they do not contain preservatives and are raised and harvested in the USA.
The size of turkey you need will depend on how many people are being fed and if you want leftovers. According to www.foodnetwork.com, plan on 1.5 pounds of meat per person. For example, if you are serving 10 people, you will need a large bird of around 15 pounds.
What is Slow Roasting?
Slow roasting is a cooking method that involves cooking meats or vegetables at a low temperature for a longer period of time. This typically involves cooking food at a consistent oven temperature, usually between 250°F (120°C) and 325°F (163°C). When cooking the turkey at a higher temperature, there is more of a chance of drying it out, especially the white meat,
The goal of slow roasting is to create the best turkey that is flavorful, tender, and evenly cooked. This method is often used for cuts of meat such as roasts, whole poultry, turkey, and some vegetables. A lower temperature allows the food to cook gently and evenly without the risk of overcooking or drying out. The patience of slow-roasting will create a juicy turkey that has a crispy skin and is also very tender.
How to slow roast a turkey typically involves basting the meat or cooking it covered to keep moisture in, and then letting it rest for a short period of time once it’s cooked through. The rest period allows the cut of meat to seal in the juices.
- Large turkey
- Softened butter
- Fresh sage and/or other fresh herbs
- Small onion
- Salt and pepper
Preparing the Turkey
- Thaw the turkey: According to www.usda.gov, thawing a whole turkey in the refrigerator is the safest and most recommended method. Keep the turkey in its original packaging and place it in a large enough container to catch any drips. The standard thaw time is approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. Make sure you allow plenty of time to thaw the turkey, because the USDA also says, “Once thawed, the turkey is safe for another two days.”
- Remove the packaging: Remove the bird from the packaging then reach inside the turkey cavity and remove the giblets and neck. These can be used to make flavorful turkey gravy or stock.
- Rinse and pat dry: Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. This will help the skin brown during roasting.
- Trussing the turkey: Trussing means tying the turkey legs together and securing the wings close to the body. The ButcherBox turkeys come with the legs already tied together.
- Season the turkey: Season the turkey with softened butter, sea salt, black pepper, and sage. You can use other fresh herbs if you choose. It is important to rub the butter under the skin as well as on top of the skin. The butter will help the skin become brown and crisp. Generously salt and pepper over the top of the butter and then sprinkle with chopped herbs. Slice an onion and two lemons and place them inside the turkey cavity along with a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
How to Slow Roast A Turkey
- Slow cooking the turkey: Cook times for a slow-roasted turkey are approximately 10 – 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the turkey on a rack inside the roasting pan with the breast side facing up. Sitting the turkey on a rack is the easiest way for the air to circulate all around the entire bird. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the skin from browning too quickly. Remove the foil during the last hour in order to allow the turkey skin to become golden brown. ButcherBox turkeys come with a pop-up timer that pops up when your turkey is cooked. I would recommend double-checking with an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to ensure the internal temperature of the turkey is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Basting: It is important to baste the turkey periodically throughout the cooking time in order to keep the turkey moist.
- Resting and carving: Once the turkey pop-up timer has popped out or the turkey has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. This is the best way to allow the juices to redistribute and keep the turkey tender and moist. Once the slow-roasted turkey has rested, remove the trussing before carving with a sharp knife.
- Serving the turkey: Serve your slow-roasted turkey with your favorite sides and garnishes.
Enjoy Your Slow-Cooked Turkey
Most people serve turkey for Thanksgiving dinner or other holiday gatherings and get-togethers. We eat it frequently during the cooler months because I love to make Deer Valley Turkey Chili with the leftover turkey. If you have the patience and properly learn how to slow roast a turkey, your family and friends will love the delicious results of this turkey recipe. Bon appétit!
How to Slow Roast a Turkey
- Roasting pan and a roasting rack
- Meat thermometer
- A small mixing bowl
- Aluminum foil
- Butcher's twine (if the legs are not already tied together)
- 1 large turkey
- 2 sticks of softened butter
- 1 – 2 lemons, cut in half
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
- 2 sprigs of fresh sage
- additional fresh herbs, optional
- Thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Thaw time is approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.
- Remove the packaging from the turkey and remove the giblets from inside the turkey cavity.
- Rinse and pat dry.
- Truss the turkey by securing the legs with cooking twine and tucking the wings in.
- Rub the softened butter under the skin of the turkey, as well as all over the outside of the turkey skin.
- Season genersouly with salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs.
- Add the onion, lemon, sprigs of sage, along with any other fresh herbs to the cavity of the turkey.
- Roast in a 325 degree oven. Roasting time is approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey.
- Loosely tent aluminum foil over the top of the turkey to prevent the skin from browning too quickly.
- During the last hour of cooking time, remove the foil to allow the skin to become golden brown.
- Continue to cook the turkey until the pop-up timer pops up or and instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.
- Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes once removed from the oven.
- Carve the turkey and serve with your favorite sides.